Watches and Wonders exhibition opens at CDFG’s Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex

CHINA. Yesterday was a red-letter day for China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and its parent company China Tourism Group as they officially inaugurated the second Watches and Wonders Sanya Fine Watch Exhibition at the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex.

The complex is the world’s largest duty free shopping venue, run by CDFG in Hainan province.

As reported, the three-month exhibition is being jointly hosted by CDFG and Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH).

Guests who attended the opening ceremony included:

– Li Gang, Deputy General Manager of China Tourism Group Co (above, fourth from left)
– Yin Chengling, Leader of Sanya Municipal Government
– Lin Haiyun, Class-2 Inspector of Hainan Provincial Department of Commerce
– Xiao Hui, Class-2 Inspector of Hainan Provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Radio, Television and Sports
– Zhao Feng, Deputy General Manager of China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation
– Chang Zhujun, Deputy General Manager, China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation
– Gao Xujiang, Deputy General Manager of China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation and Executive Director and Secretary of Party Committee of Sanya Downtown Duty-free Store Co
– Zhao Yuanzhao, General Manager of CDFG Sanya Downtown Duty-free Store Co and General Manager of Hainan Duty-free Co
– Dennis Lee, Senior Executive SWM China and Chief Executive Officer of TimeVallée China (Richemont)
– Representatives from various watch brands.

Zhao Feng commented, “2021 is destined to be an extraordinary year, one in which we have witnessed the rapid growth in size of Hainan’s offshore duty free industry; increasingly relaxed offshore duty free shopping policies; and fast sales growth for another consecutive year.

Some of the world’s greatest watch brands are on show at Watches and Wonders Sanya. Click to enlarge.

“Over the past decade, CDFG has been actively involved in the development and construction of Sanya. We have realised rapid development in annual sales and overall industry size and promoted local tax revenue growth.

“CDFG has also became the number one global travel retail operator [Source: Moodie Davitt Report Top 25 Travel Retailers ranking -Ed] and created a new benchmark not only in China but also the global duty free industry. It has done that through the favourable offshore duty free policies in Hainan, and thanks to the generous support of government at provincial and municipal levels in Hainan as well as from brand owners.

“The second Watches and Wonders Sanya Fine Watch Exhibition has introduced rare and limited-edition high-class international wristwatches while fully considering consumer needs. This initiative reflects the excellent cooperative relationship between the two sides; illustrates the common pursuit of spreading the culture of fine watches and jewellery; while demonstrating strong aspirations to improve the shopping experience of consumers.”

Dennis Lee said, “It is because of the close cooperation between Richemont and CDFG that this fine watch exhibition is made possible in Sanya for the second time. The famous coastal city will become the focus of the watchmaking industry this autumn. We look forward to deepening cooperation with CDFG in the future.”

Zhao Yuanzhao spoke highly of the first fine watch exhibition, which he said had paved the way for this year’s event. “Under the leadership of China Tourism Group Corporation Limited, CDFG, the largest duty free retailer in China, is committed to a customer-centric and market-oriented business model,” he said.

“We are dedicated to bringing high-quality popular products into the domestic [travel retail] market to meet Chinese consumers’ demand. Thanks to the first Watches and Wonders Sanya Fine Watch Exhibition and the first CDFG Watch Carnival, sales across watch categories have increased significantly. Brands including Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Jaeger-Lecoultre, and IWC enjoy huge popularity among consumers.

“On that basis, more brands and products have been introduced during the second Watches and Wonders exhibition, including Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, and H. Moser & Cie. A series of minute repeaters will also be displayed, as will 179 of the latest watches and exceptional timepieces from 14 leading watch brands, fully meeting the individual needs of consumers, collectors, watchmakers, and watch enthusiasts.”

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Based on the success of the first exhibition, this year’s Watches and Wonder is expected to be even more impressive, CDFG said. Over the next three months, 14 leading brands in fine watchmaking will launch an array of new watches and exceptional timepieces. By showcasing superior skills, delicate design, and through a compact exhibition layout, the brands aim to present visitors with a comprehensive and immersive experience, the retailer noted.

Special guests, domestic media and industry representatives are gaining advance access to the event during the VIP visiting period from 28 to 30 September. The exhibition will officially open to the public during the National Day holiday (1 October) and last until 31 December.

While following COVID-19 protocols, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the art of fine watchmaking through the skills displayed by watchmakers. They will be able to explore the latest trends in the timepiece industry; and discover the history behind classic watches and their complex functions. Participating brands are also hosting a variety of activities focused on their latest editions.

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